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Sedation Dentistry – Lebanon, NH

Experience Anxiety-Free Dental Care at Last

Dental phobia is a real and widespread problem that negatively affects patients of all ages and backgrounds. While these feelings can be mild in many cases, other instances are severe enough to result in skipped appointments, habitual dental avoidance, and slowly worsening oral health problems that eventually result in serious damage.

At Santavicca Dental Professionals, we are 100% committed to creating a safe, compassionate, and nurturing environment for your ongoing care. If our personal efforts cannot help you relax alone, several sedative techniques are also available here in Lebanon, NH, including advanced general anesthesia. By matching the severity of phobia and your personal preferences to one of these sedation techniques, we hope to create a genuinely fear-free experience that leaves you smiling. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Santavicca and her team – we look forward to meeting you!

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Relaxed woman

Many patients know this type of sedation by a different name — laughing gas! Nitrous oxide in Lebanon is safe for all ages and may be the right choice for patients who have mild feelings of nervousness or anxiety concerning dental treatment. Our team will attach a nasal mask to a patient that administers the gas, and within minutes, they should feel calmer and more content while still remaining awake. Once the mask is removed, these effects wear off quickly, which means it is easy for a patient to return to their regular routine the very same day.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Female patient smiling before undergoing nitrous oxide sedation

Nitrous oxide is a great choice for many patients who suffer from a mild degree of dental anxiety. However, that is not the only indication that sedation may be right for you. We may recommend nitrous oxide if you:

  • Are uncomfortable around needles
  • Find it difficult to sit still in the treatment chair
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Are not easily numbed with local anesthesia

Although nitrous oxide is safe for most patients, there are some groups for whom it is not recommended. For example, because it can pose some risks to a developing fetus, pregnant women should not use it. Additionally, those with sinus congestion or certain respiratory conditions may not be good candidates for it.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Close-up of three control dials on nitrous oxide machine

First, we provide a nose mask for the patient. The mask is attached to a machine that administers the nitrous oxide. We use controls on the machine to release a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide into the nose mask. Very soon after you begin to breathe it in, you should start to feel relaxed, calm, and perhaps euphoric or sleepy. We will adjust your level of sedation as necessary throughout your procedure. At the end of your appointment, the nose mask will be removed, and within minutes, the effects of the nitrous oxide should wear off.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Patient relaxing at home after sedation with nitrous oxide

Although nitrous oxide wears off quite quickly, your sedation dentist in Lebanon will still request that you stay in our office for a few minutes so we can monitor you and make sure that it will be safe for you to drive yourself home. The nitrous oxide itself should not prevent you from returning to your normal activities right away. However, if you underwent an invasive dental procedure, you may need to take it easy at home for a day or two. Be sure to contact us immediately if you suspect you are having any sort of complications, whether it is from the nitrous oxide or your dental treatment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Patient holding white sedative pill

Oral conscious sedation offers a more moderate level of relaxation for patients in need. We will prescribe medication and also provide detailed instructions for when to take it before your appointment is set to begin. While you will remain conscious enough to respond to any requests from our team, it’s likely that you will enter a deep stage of comfort and not remember much about your visit once you’ve fully recovered. Please remember to arrange for an escort to bring you to and from our practice, as you will be unable to drive yourself.

IV Sedation

IV tube

IV sedation is similar to oral conscious sedation, but it offers one significant advantage – the medication is administered intravenously (through the vein), which means that the dosage can be easily adjusted throughout the treatment process to ensure the ideal level of sedation. While this technique is not designed to render patients unconscious, some may feel so at ease that they doze off. Many people even say that it helps entire appointments feel like they only take a few minutes!

General AnesthesiA

Relaxed woman in dental exam chair

At Santavicca Dental Professionals, we are happy to have the assistance of an in-house anesthesiologist who can help patients achieve full sleep during their procedures. This advanced technique is typically recommended for cases of severe anxiety/fear or overly long procedures that require patients to sit still for an uncomfortable amount of time. You will be monitored closely at all times to ensure your safety. Once you’re finished and recovered, you will have no memory of your treatment – only a better, brighter smile!

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